Living in a fast paced city, we can often get caught up in the go, go, go and forget to think about our impact on mother earth. I am sharing 5 easy tips you can take to ensure your footprint is a conscious one. These 5 ways have become my habits and when I forget one of them, I enrol someone who’s with me so I don’t forget again and it also holds me accountable. So if you ever see me without my water bottle or coffee mug as the weather is cooling down, ask me what I’m doing instead. When I’m on the beach teaching a SUP YOGA HK class, we ask our students to pick up a handful of garbage from the water or the sand to do our part in only leaving paddle strokes and footprints, and this has become a life habit now!
1- ALWAYS carry your own water bottle
While it’s a little bulky, you’re doing your body good by never buying a plastic bottled drink ever again.
Besides the fact that we live in a hot and humid climate and bottles of water are often left in the sun, MindBodyGreen gives you the 7 reasons to never drink bottled water.
When you get your cup of coffee or tea, hand over your water bottle too and fill up on aqua. You can also Download this app of all the places you can fill up your water bottle for free! I love my lululemon glass water bottle and I also use the one I got at pure for when I’m on my paddle board. It was free and it has a loop for my carabiner!
One bottle of water retails $8 from 7-11
Save $248 in a month
2- Bring your own mug
Thanks to Ocean Recovery for leading the way, Pacific Coffee now also has their own Coffee Lid Recycling program, so if you do forget your mug, at the very least, ditch the lid or bring it back later.
For convenience sake, I love the Starbucks mugs and while I get my coffee from all over the city (check this post on my favourite places to caffeinate), my favourite is the ones you can personalize and who doesn’t want a sparkly mug for the pumpkin spiced lattes this fall!?
$3 for every time your BYOM
Save $63 in a month
3- Ditch those plastic straws
If you love a cold Vita tetra pack drink with a plastic straw attached to it, maybe it’s time to ditch them, save some cash and sugar intake too! Plastic Free Seas launched a program educating and encouraging local restaurants to not put straws into a drink and if you needed one, to ask and they even have their own No Excuse for Plastic Kits for sale! Taking it one step further is The Last Straw movement, two brothers on a mission to bring awareness to the plastic straw issue and offering green paper ones instead! Here are some other innovative and sustainable straws if you plan on carrying your own. I carry a stainless steel straw in my water bottle these days and I love it!
Happy hour drinkers- ditch cocktails for a glass of heart friendly wine or a fine whiskey for sipping instead!
If it costs $7 per sugary vita tetra pack and let’s say you have 3 a week
Save $84 in a month (AND more in cutting out the sugar)
4- Bring your own bag
I hear this one a lot from people, that they have bags but they’re at home. I’ve found the solution with this Origami Rescue tip on folding any plastic bags I might have at home and applied it to my cloth bags for groceries. They’re ready to grab and live in my backpack at all times so I’m never without one.
If you’re doing groceries 4 times a week, you’ll save $1 every week!
Save $4 in a month
5- Ditch the antibacterial gels
Yep. You heard me right! There’s actually little conclusive evidence that antibacterial gels are better than good old soap and water. In fact those little beads in the gels are horrible for the environment. If you think about it, those little beads don’t melt away, they stream into the seas where little fish eat it thinking it’s food, then the bigger fish and well, you get the idea!
If you have to, make your own natural hand sanitizers or just go to the bathroom and wash your hands before and after meals!
Let’s say you spend $15 on one little bottle a month
Confession: I will admit, since having a baby, I bought a bottle of all natural hand sanitizer and since learning how to make my own, I’m just reusing the bottle I have once it’s empty.
If you’re like me and run around with a large Mischa Tote or a backpack, adding these extra things isn’t that bad but if you’re a purse gal, at the very, very least, bring your own water bottle. Stay hydrated and ditch those plastic bottles! Now if you apply all of the above, you’re saving a grand total of $414 a month (perfect for a lunch date complete with tea and dessert for two or a soft gel mani and pedi at Nail 88)